An AT&T study highlights investments made in cloud services and mobile applications as organizations increasingly recognize the importance of network security for business continuity.

In the wake of unexpected weather, cybersecurity threats and new ways of working in recent times, business continuity planning has started to make its mark on the UK's enterprise technology landscape. Coinciding with AT&T’s third European Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Forum (BCDR) in Amsterdam in June, the pre-event research revealed that British businesses have continued to grow and advance their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to incorporate the adoption of wireless network capabilities, cloud services and mobile applications.

In a survey of 100 UK businesses with annual revenue of over $25 million, the 2013 AT&T Business Continuity Study found that more than three quarters of executives surveyed (76 percent) cited the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013. In addition, 87 percent of those surveyed understand the increasing importance of security and indicate that their companies have a proactive strategy in place.

• 94 percent of executives indicate their organizations have a business continuity plan in place in case of a disaster or threat.

• Two-thirds (65 percent) of companies implement specific protective actions
when the UK government issues an alert for an impending disaster.

• 83 percent of executives are concerned about the use of mobile networks
and devices and their impact on security threats.

• Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of companies include their wireless
network capabilities as part of their business continuity plan.

With the increase in IT budgets, companies are increasingly utilizing the cloud for their business continuity plans to help minimize the impact of potential threats and disasters.

• Three-quarters (77 percent) of companies are using cloud services or plan to invest in cloud services in 2013. Of those surveyed, 63 percent already include cloud services as part of their corporate infrastructure.

• Two-thirds (69 percent) of companies are using or considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity strategy.

• For disaster recovery purposes, 50 percent of companies plan to utilize cloud computing for data storage.

• Nearly half (48 percent) of companies are likely to invest in Software-as-a-Service in 2013.

Mobile security is a key area of concern and investment, although many firms have yet to come to grips with managing BYOD.

• The vast majority (83 percent) of executives are concerned about the use of mobile networks and devices and their impact on security threats.

• The majority (61 percent) of UK organizations polled invest in mobile security services.

• Over half (54 percent) of executives indicate that fewer than half of their employees use mobile devices that are maintained by the IT department.

• Only four out of 10 (40 percent) companies have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place.

Although natural disasters have been a traditional driver of business continuity planning, today companies are also looking beyond to the impact of network security events – and expanding their disaster plans accordingly.

• Three-quarters (76 percent) of companies indicated that their business continuity plan accommodates the possibility of a network security event.

• Three-quarters (75 percent) of companies are taking proactive or reactive measures to protect against distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks.

• Two-fifths (43 percent) are taking proactive measures by identifying potential attacks with DDoS protection services.

• The majority of organizations (61 percent) surveyed invest in mobile security services; 69 percent are currently defending against malware while 68 percent take proactive measures against loss and theft.

“The research results show us that UK businesses are not taking any chances when it comes to protecting their technology infrastructure and assets,” said Dave Langhorn, Vice President, UK and Ireland, AT&T. “Business continuity planning has gone from being a theoretical possibility to a practical and very real priority, with many organizations investing in new technologies such as cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies.”

AT&T offers a wide array of business continuity services, encompassing disaster planning, risk management and recovery preparedness. In addition, services such as business-impact analysis, risk assessments, enterprise hosting, cloud computing and application services, a full continuum of storage solutions, high-availability network solutions and network and IT security solutions can be important components of a company's business continuity plans.

AT&T’s investment in network disaster recovery

AT&T has invested more than $600 million in its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program, which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians, as well as a fleet of more than 320 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center.

Read about the recent disaster recovery exercise held in Amsterdam. (link to article - AT&T disaster recovery drill in Amsterdam)

Study methodology

The 2013 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on a national sample of 100 online surveys among Information Technology (IT) executives in UK companies. The study was conducted by Research Now with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million. Surveys were obtained between April 30 and May 2, 2013. All participating executives have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, and 76 percent represent companies with locations outside the UK.

The Business Continuity Preparedness Handbook

The handbook highlights the importance of preparedness planning and provides recommendations on business continuity best practices. It also outlines solutions for business continuity, including conferencing, messaging, remote access services, mobility, hosting and network security.

Download the handbook here

Business Continuity Planning Checklist

To help in your preparedness, AT&T has developed a checklist that identifies important, specific activities that businesses can do now to prepare for an event.

Download the checklist here



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